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Are Elevators with Expired Permits Unsafe?

When you find yourself in a commercial elevator, you might notice a piece of paper on the wall above the buttons and controls. Often, this paper displays the last inspection date for the lift and when the elevator is due for inspection again. But, a recent article details an issue concerning elevators at Chico State, mainly that some elevators around campus have expired permits. Generally, this may be a concern for most items past expiration, but does this apply to elevators?

At Chico State, some students, as indicated by the article, wonder if elevators around campus will break down, as some permits are nearly a year out of date. The reporter mentions, however, that the permit doesn’t indicate the amount of work done on the elevator nor does it indicate the state upon the last inspection. Nevertheless, all elevators in California are required to be inspected by the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health and elevators that have had past safety violations are typically a cause for more concern. According to the article, Chico State has never had an elevator shutdown due to safety issues.

What counts as a safety issue? According to the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) in Canada, several factors are used to determine the safety of an elevator. TSSA bases their inspection frequency on the safety performance of past inspections, the number of floors a building has, the safety performance rating of an elevator company, the age of the elevator, and the type of building in which its located. Although elevator standards aren’t the same everywhere, this list by TSSA gives a well-rounded indication of which factors could lead to an elevator needing more inspection. In the case your building contains more floors, an older elevator, a poor performing elevator, or a model by a poor-performing elevator company, such factors may cause an elevator to be inspected more frequently, as these would indicate an elevator system is less likely to be safe.


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